Is The Main Thing the Main Thing?
As the 2021-2022 school year has come to a close, faculties reflect on and review the past year’s programs as well as begin to plan for the next school year. In doing so, needs are reviewed and priorities addressed.
Perhaps, some of the following priorities are ones that your school has discussed and/or set.
- Textbook Review
- Accreditation Standards/Self-Study
- Attending LEA Convocation
- Class/Teaching Schedules
- Technology Acquisition
- STEM Experiences
- Sports/Athletic Program and Schedules
- Fine Arts Events
- Chapel Schedules
As these items are discussed and prioritized, a number of questions might be worthwhile considering.
- How much inservice time has been/will be spent on these topics?
- How much staff time/salary is/will be committed to conducting these programs?
- Are there expenses involved that will affect the budget?
- How does your school determine which items will receive higher priority?
- Is consideration of what other schools and perhaps local public schools given in determining this?
- Should our schools be offering the same types of programs and experiences our public counterparts do?
- Are opportunities for service projects given to students?
- Is the teaching of religion and confirmation classes one of these topics?
- Is time devoted to coordinating your religion curriculum/instruction among the grade levels?
- Is your church’s pastor(s) and/or DCE involved in teaching religion or confirmation classes?
- Is robust memory work of Bible passages, the chief parts of the catechism, along with hymn verses an important part of your religion curriculum?
What is the most important thing your school should be doing? If, as I’m sure most all schools will answer that teaching the faith from a Lutheran Christian perspective and discipling students is the highest priority, is this reflected in the time given to the intentional discussion, planning, and budgeting for this to occur?
Should religion in our Lutheran schools be taught by synodically trained teachers? As the availability of synodically-trained teachers declines, how does your school determine who will teach religion? How much time does your school dedicate to training non-Lutheran staff in what Lutherans believe and teach? Is there an expectation for non-synodical teachers to go through the colloquy program? Is encouragement given and money budgeted/available to assist teachers with this?
How much time is spent in preparing a chapel schedule and chapel services for students? Who leads these services?
How much importance is given to the planning and presenting of your school’s Christmas service? How does this compare to time/money spent on other school presentations such as plays and/or musicals?
I believe we are in danger of losing our purpose and our distinctively Lutheran Christian identity if we don’t give adequate attention to these questions. Finding ways to teaching the faith from this perspective is critical to keeping the main thing the main thing!